nostalgia

There is a moment in everyone’s childhood that transcends all logic, one that is ingrained in your subconscious forever. Mine, was walking into my primary school English teacher’s home. It was the early 80’s but like all ‘old’ people (she was probably only in her 30’s) my teacher’s home was from another time.

It was a magical wonderland of everything I now know to be the pinnacle of 60’s and 70s furniture and gardens. Her home, that incredible space she created, left me with a feeling which I have been driven to recreate ever since.

All those wondrous rich features: Floor to ceiling windows and doors, timber panelling and breeze blocks as far as they eye could see, walls adorned with vast sprawling philodendrons wrapping around the entire room, monsterias and oversized hanging ferns, macramé, West German pottery, shag rugs, sheepskins and books…books stretching without end.

It was like nothing I’d seen before, except maybe in a Norsca ad. I loved going back to explore and immerse myself in its warmth and glow.

I didn’t realise at the time, how much of an impression a space could leave on a person…on me. While I can no longer visualise every detail of this magnificent home, the memory of how it felt will remain with me forever.

I’m compelled to recreate this feeling in every home I live in. I judge every home open I attend by how the rooms make me feel and how they stack up against the home that inspired me in my childhood. Do they take me back there? If they do, I pause and enjoy the moment. Am I the only one who does that?

My dream is to one day buy an Iwan Iwanoff or another midcentury modernist style home. Sadly, I fear that their days are numbered if Perth’s trend of knocking down homes with even a hint of history or character continues.

I write this in the hope that there are other people out there who love things from a bygone era as much as me. Those who love and respect the craftsmanship and skill of designers and architects who came before us. Those who understand the intrinsic value of creating ‘quality’ and ‘less’ that ‘solves’ more. Yes,’ less’ of everything, but functional, beautiful and made to last. The current trend of creating poor quality objects which are designed to be replaced and thrown away to make room for yet more dispensable items leaves me despondent.

My early influences have led me to be an advocate today for holding onto history, to repurpose and reuse well-made furniture, and to preserve, reconfigure and reinvent older homes and spaces to make them work for modern lifestyles.

I won’t lie, sometimes it is hard to resist the mass produced knock offs for their perceived ‘value’, but those purchases will never give you the feeling of having found a real treasure with inherent value. In the end it is about finding the right balance for you.

Can you relate to this? If so, please feel free to share those moments which inspired and perhaps helped influence you to become the person you are today.

Also Mrs Dixon if you are out there somewhere, thank you for sharing your home with me. You will never know what a profound effect it had on my life and how grateful I am for it.